On June 13, 2023, Edmonton Global hosted a webinar on the 5,000 Hydrogen Vehicle Challenge. It was an informative session for companies interested in joining and supporting the 5,000 Hydrogen Vehicle Challenge. The goal of the Challenge is to get 5,000 hydrogen and dual-fuel vehicles on the road in Western Canada in five years.
There is a lot of work underway that is already supporting this transition – including some leading pilot projects being advanced by our commercial transportation sector, buy municipalities within our region, and by the Edmonton International airport.
To elaborate on this more, Brent Lakeman, Director of the Hydrogen Initiative at Edmonton Global, walked attendees through the background of the Challenge, what it hopes to achieve and how we can “break the chicken and the egg” challenge, once and for all by scaling up some of the pilot projects in the region, and across Alberta.
The Edmonton region is home to the Alberta Zero Emissions Truck Electrification Collaboration – or AZETEC – Canada’s first-ever heavy-duty alternative fuel demonstration where two long-range fuel cell trucks will be travelling between Edmonton and Calgary. The AMTA hydrogen truck demonstrations, have also allowed companies in Alberta the opportunity to test hydrogen-powered heavy-duty trucks in their daily operations. This project is incorporating both fully hydrogen-powered and dual-fuel technologies.
Other notable developments presented during the webinar, is the work being done to support the development of critical infrastructure to support these pilot projects, and more importantly, some of the early investments we are seeing from the private and public sectors. The 5,000 Hydrogen Vehicle Challenge will pool all this ongoing work across the entire hydrogen supply chain to accelerate demand and create economies of scale. “Our path to net-zero runs through the Edmonton region,” Brent Lakeman emphasized.
Brent led a discussion with a couple panellists that provided further insight into the hydrogen sector, both locally and internationally.
David Richards, the General Manager of Diversified Transportation, whose commercial bus fleets extend across Western Canada. Diversified is an early mover in hydrogen adoption. They’ve teamed up with an Edmonton-based company Diesel Tech Industries to look convert conventional tier 4 diesels to run on dual fuel. From the perspective of the existing fleets the dual fuel technology has a lot of economic attractiveness compared to waiting for the new hydrogen fuel cell vehicles to be on the road. Notably, Diversified’s busses have been recently able to run on 80% hydrogen and 20% bio-diesel.
Mark Eisenhower, Project Director with Guidehouse also joined the discussion. Guidehouse is a global consultancy firm that Edmonton Global has recently engaged to build out the strategy for the 5000 Hydrogen Vehicle Challenge. With more than 1,200 experts around the globe and more than 35 years of sustainability expertise, Guidehouse works with organizations and communities to design and implement strategic initiatives aimed at supporting the energy transition. In his role as Project Director Mark has been leading some of Guidehouse’s work on Clean Hydrogen Hub applications to the U.S department of Energy and has a bird’s eye view on how the market for hydrogen will develop in North America. Mark shared his expertise to compare how approaches in Europe, the US and Canada differ in terms of our ability to pursue consortia approaches.
The Q&A session attendees allowed participants to express their interest in the Challenge and learn how they can be involved. Questions were asked around what is the most likely source and method of hydrogen production in Western Canada, whether this challenge has government support and awareness, and where the greatest barriers to adoption lie.
If you are interested in learning more about the 5,000 Hydrogen Vehicle challenge and how you can get involved, you can read more about it here.